WATCH Magazine: December 2022: Wilmer Valderrama

Nice. I was like, “Oh, I got a test offer, okay.” No, they are offering. “Oh, they want to meet with me.” No, they’re making an offer! It was fantastic. And I was juggling Gossip Girl , and I was also juggling an Ama- zon feature with Jamie Foxx, playing his wife. Is that The Burial , based on the New Yorker story? Yes. The last week of the pilot, I wrapped on a Mon- day, flew the next morning to New Orleans for The Burial for two days, then flew back to New York for a scene for Gossip Girl . I know that sounds chaotic— that kind of schedule—but it reminded me of the training that I had at Yale Drama. It was nonstop. Actors don’t get sick. You work through it. You work for it. You earn it. And you earn every moment that you play on that stage. And now it’s every moment that I do on screen.

there any special responsibility you feel as an actor to address those issues? Well, it all starts on the page. What’s been really great with our creative team, our writers’ room, is that they want to explore the gray, and I want to play the gray. You’re a New Yorker. Had you ever been to East New York? Once or twice, probably visiting family, for a birth- day party of some sort. So it’s been a while, but it feels good. And to get that heartbeat of the people and of their spirit has just been really informative, and we’re all kind of absorbing that and taking it in and really making sure that that’s portrayed. This community is so great. You’ve said that your mom tapped the brakes on your high school acting ambitions. The rule was that if it was part of school activities, she was all for it. I met that with some resistance

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There’s been a crucial conversation about how police shows may contribute to bad policing. Is /


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